Guys, it’s that time of the month. Again. Ugh.
Here’s what we have to look forward to. One whole week of….
Irrational irritability. Allodynia. (Increased sensitivity to pain.)
A compulsion to eat carbs, carbs, and, uh. More carbs. All day. Every day. Ever. And anon.
Fun. So much fun. Not.
It’s not that that time of the month! (I haven’t quite reached that level of oversharing. Yet.)
Oh, no no no. It’s much worse than that.
It’s taper week.
And if there’s one thing you learn as a runner, it’s that taper week makes PMS week look like a a day at Disney World. With no lines. And free food. And Patrick Dempsey as your own personal theme park tour guide.
Because if there’s one thing that any runner hates…it’s being told not to run, especially when you know that you have to race in seven days and really you just want to make sure that your muscles will remember to work for 13.1 miles.
…they can be so forgetful.
But instead of doing something irrational like running 10 miles the Wednesday before your Saturday race, you just have to remind yourself that your 11 mile run on Saturday was a dream. You ran at an 8:50 pace and it felt easy.
You highly suspect that this might have something to do with the fact that you haven’t singlehandedly tried to finish off a jar of peanut butter in over two weeks. It’s crazy the things that happen when you treat your body well. You might actually feel, well. Good. Confident.
Ready to take on the world…or at least 13.1 miles of Brooklyn.
So instead of turning into a psycho compulsive runner who decides that she is above tapering. You eat your pasta. And you rest your muscles (a little). And you like it.
And really…there’s nothing not to like about this pasta. Imagine baked ziti but infused with goat cheese instead of mozzarella. And stuffed with more kale/swiss chard/spinach by weight than actual noodles. Yeah…it’s pretty much a dream. In an 8×8-inch pan. What more could you ask for.
Baked Macaroni with Tomato Sauce and Goat Cheese
Serves 4, adapted from the New York Times
- 1/2 lb whole wheat fusilli or other small pasta
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 28 oz canned diced tomatoes
- 1/8 tsp sugar
- salt, to taste
- 1/4 cup basil leaves, whole
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 oz soft goat cheese
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 11 oz mixed greens (I used this blend)
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil over medium heat in a large, wide skillet. Add the garlic. Cook 30 seconds, stirring, or until fragrant. Add the tomatoes, sugar, salt and basil to the pan. Stir, turn up the heat, and bring to a boil. When it begins to bubble, lower the heat back to medium and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until thick and fragrant. Add freshly ground black pepper. Stir in the goat cheese and parmesan cheese. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- When the water for the pasta starts to boil, add the pasta and cook it for a minute or two less than the package instructions say since it will cook more in the oven. In the last two minutes, add the mixed greens. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Add the tomato-goat cheese sauce to the bowl and combine thoroughly. Transfer to an 8×8-inch baking pan or a 2 qt baking dish.
- Toss the breadcrumbs with the remaining tbsp olive oil. Sprinkle over the top of the pasta. Bake until casserole is bubbly and breadcrumbs are lightly brown, about 30 minutes. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.